Two studies presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon highlight the dangers that smoking poses to patients receiving total knee or hip implants.
The researchers found that the overall revision rate – meaning the number of surgeries that had to be redone – was 10 times higher for smokers compared with nonsmokers: 10 percent vs. 1 percent. Smokers also had a significantly higher rate of complications compared with non-smokers (21 percent vs. 12 percent), including blood clots, abnormal heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, urinary tract infection and kidney failure.
Quitting’s not easy, but it’s worth it, says Dr. Lombardi. “The effect of nicotine may persist, but obviously it will [lessen] if you stop.”